The celebrated—and in-demand—guitarist talks about his career to date and a special anniversary release of a classic album.
BY TIFFINI TAYLOR
After twenty years, Adrian Galysh reminisces with a newly recorded release of “Venusian Sunrise 20th Anniversary Edition”. This talented guitarist, who has influenced many of today’s musicians, has had a long, illustrious career of achievements, which includes five studio albums, collaborations with Uli Jon Roth and George Lynch as well as many more, and working as education coordinator for Guitar Center Lessons. He is a published author.
A guitar virtuoso who still makes music and has fun while playing, Galysh is one who, after twenty years, has a new outlook on an album that made him the man he is today. The original album was recorded in his parent’s basement, but this time it has a new feeling of relevance for the music world to take hold of. This twenty track album can make one smile, cry, and reminisce about a different time in music. Here is what he has to say about all of it. (Below, listen to “So Close… So Far,” from the updated Venusian Sunrise album.)
BLURT: You have worked with various artists throughout your career—who are some of your favorites to work with?
ADRIAN GALYSH: There have been a few, but if I had to narrow it down, one the first I ever worked with was Reb Beach (Whitesnake/Winger). He and I worked on my first demo back in 1994. I learned a lot from him, watching him help with song arrangements, fleshing out musical ideas, programming drums, and his general work ethic, which was very professional. It was my first glimpse into how a gold and platinum artist works.
Of course, performing with ex-Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth was a dream come true. I am a huge fan of his playing, and standing by his side playing all those classic Scorpions songs was a ton of fun. We played together here and there for a few years, but did a short tour in 2011. I’d love to play with him again.
What kind of acoustic guitar do you play?
AG: I play a Yamaha ATX-9, which is a super comfortable, smaller size guitar. Sounds great.
What kind of electric guitar do you play?
AG: I have a few but my main guitars are a Brian Moore Adrian Galysh C90F Signature model, a Suhr Modern Satin, and a D’Angelico EXL-1.
Alice Cooper drummer, Glen Sobel, played drums on the new album, Venusian Sunrise: 20th Anniversary Edition. You have worked with him in the past; there is good chemistry between you both; why do you think that is?
AG: I attribute the good chemistry to a couple things: Glen grew up listening to the same guitar-centric music that I did. He also has a bunch of experience recording with guitarists like Tony MacAlpine, Jennifer Batten, Gary Hoey, and Paul Gilbert, so his experience gives him great instinct for what artists like myself want.
It has been 20 years since your debut, Venusian Sunrise. What was it like recording this 20th-anniversary album and revisiting the recording of the music?
AG: There were aspects about the process that were easy. Since the material was already written and song order was already decided, I could just dive into each song, one at a time. So the songs were there, but the real challenge was often trying to figure out what I played 20 years ago on either guitar, but mostly keyboards. These are things I haven’t played since the original recording. Some guitar parts lent themselves to being reproduced note for note, but others needed to be updated and improved. I feel the original recording shows the genesis of my writing and playing style. While it still took me some time to come into my own, the bones were there.
How do you feel about being referred to as a guitar legend?
AG: Oh, I’m no legend. I reserve that term for guys like Eddie Van Halen, Uli Jon Roth, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix.
Tell me about this re-recording of this album: Is there anything in particular that happened in the studio that you had not experienced before? Did it bring back memories from the first recording? What was the process like for you?
AG: I have to admit, I would have flashes of memories from when I originally recorded these songs while I was doing the new versions. So I tried to keep the original intent and spirit of the songs in mind with the new recordings, while trying my best to give the best performances I could, using the best production techniques possible bringing the songs into the year 2018. Nothing strange happened during the re-recording, things seemed to flow pretty well during most sessions.
Having spent time working with great musicians, including Stuart Hamm and Uli Jon Roth, is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like to?
AG: I have been lucky to have met, jammed with, or even recorded with many artists that I admire. But, my dream gig is to play in Alice Cooper’s band. I love his songs, the live performance aspect, everything.
Stuart Hamm played bass on a couple of songs—how did that come about?
AG: We have met here and there in the past, but it was at a recent jam in Hollywood, where we finally played a couple songs together. It was fun and he seemed receptive to collaborating, so I sent him an email asking about it. The two songs I had in mind have a little spotlight for the bass, so I knew I needed someone like him on it. HE really delivered. The tracks he sent had great tone, timing, and feel.
What advice would you give to up and coming guitarists?
AG: Practice, practice, practice. Learn to play different styles, learn to sing, and get your business and marketing skills going too. Play with as many other musician as possible, as often as possible, in front of as many people as possible.
What inspires you to continue playing?
AG: The challenge of it keeps me going. Playing guitar is like a puzzle. Every other day I crack a part of it, and that’s exciting.
Do you think about the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AG: I do think about the future, buts it’s hard to think about 10 years ahead…. hopefully I’ll be living in Santa Barbara wine country!
A true legend in his own time, will continue to impress everyone with his talent, and I’m looking forward to seeing his live show and seeing what the future holds for this musician. He is one of a kind. He is a musician’s guitarist. A special thank you to Adrian Galysh for talking with Blurt.
(To find out more information please visit http://adriangalysh.com/)